The Chance to Lead | #MyFridayStory No. 69

The Chance to Lead | #MyFridayStory No. 69

For decades, researchers could not find a clear answer to the question:

Are leaders born or made?

There has never been any doubt in my mind: Leaders are made. And the latest scientific research supports the opinion. Leaders are in fact, created. There is strong evidence that certain personality traits are heritable. But, being a charismatic and inspiring person, is also influenced by environmental factors. So, just as some folk are predisposed to being athletically inclined, or having natural musical talents, it could be true that certain people are predisposed to leadership.

The legendary American football coach, Vince Lombardi famously said: “Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.”

Although the ability to lead lies within us all, there are certain traits that are necessary for a leader to be great. According to psychologist, Sherrie Campbell“Exceptional leaders are those who are open, social, friendly, communicative, humble, sensitive to others, flexible, honest and down to earth. These qualities are the exact qualities which leave the deepest and most meaningful impact on others.” She goes on to explain, the type of character we build for ourselves, is our own choice. “If we make poor choices such as being dishonest, lazy, entitled, egotistical, attention-seeking or blaming, we will not develop the type of character others feel compelled to follow.”

Great leaders display great character, it’s what separates them from being average.

Character traits of exceptional leaders include:

  • EQ – Being emotionally mature and able to remain calm under pressure.
  • Enthusiasm – Having an optimistic and energetic drive, and being uninhibited.
  • Self-assured – Not needing approval from others, past mistakes don’t hold them back.
  • Empathy – Caring about self and others, are able to put themselves in the other person’s shoes.
  • Seekers of the truth – Honesty and integrity are the cornerstones of a great leader, they prefer to hear, or to tell a tough and painful truth, over giving or receiving a comforting mistruth.
  • No Drama – great leaders steer clear of drama, they take responsibility for their actions.

We all have a chance to lead.

The choice to lead is a road of blood, sweat and tears. There is no shortcut and there is no easy route to success. Leaders show courage in the face of hardships, and overcome their fear. They are steadfast and resolute in their demeanour. They are never scared to learn, or to be taught, always having an open mind. They love the fringes, because that’s where the magic happens.

Leaders are rarely born.

If it is your dream to lead, then I say you should lead. It’s a choice. Start by working on the character traits that make exceptional leaders. Remember, building a reputation as a strong leader is built up over time, through repeatedly doing the right thing. One misstep can undo years of hard-earned reputation.

Today you have the chance to lead, are you going to take it?

* You are welcome to contact me frans@leap1st.com, I’d like that!

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